Friday, 14 December 2012

Power Foods for Diabetics

Following on from my healthy eating/healthy living trend of recent blog posts I found this article on Diabetic Living Online about the Top 20 Diabetic Power Foods. I thought it would be interesting to see how many of these foods I actually eat on a regular basis. So, for my own interest I thought I'd take a look at my own diet and see how many of these "power" foods I actually eat.

1. Asparagus
Eat lots - when in season!

2. Blueberries
These would have been an eat little, but I've been having blueberries in my smoothies lately so I've bumped them up to eat some.

Image credit here

3. Red Grapefruit
Eat little - I rarely eat this. The only time I can recall in the last year was in a drink... with Gin. 

4. Beans
Eat LOTS! - Love my beans. Kidney/Black/Green Beans etc. 

5. Broccoli
Eat lots - This is a staple vegetable in our household and often ends up in meals

6. Carrots
Eat lots - Again, safe as above. Except we'd probably eat carrots more. 

7. Fish
Eat little - I rarely eat fish. Over this past year I've had tuna 3 times and battered fish once. Not enough I reckon! 

8. Flaxseed
Eat lots - I take flaxseed oil supplements every day. It's supposed to be good for skin, mine is chronic for getting dry and attacked by eczema :(

9. Cranberries
Eat little - Have recently started eating a small amount of the cran, mostly in baking - but I worry about the sugar content.. 

10. Apples
Eat some - To be honest, it's probably boderline of the eating some. I'm not a huge fruit fan in general but have been making an effort to add apples to my lunchtime diet on a regular basis.

11. Melon
Eat little - Again like the cranberries, melon doesn't enter my diet much. Mostly due to price/availability reasons

12. Nuts
Eat lots - Definitely on this one! Have almonds/brazil nuts as a snack on a regular basis and have recently purchased some LSA (ground up linseed, sunflower and almonds) and add that to a bunch of stuff. 

13. Oatmeal
Eat some - Oats make their way into my baking on a semi regular basis.

14. Red Onions
Eat lots - These are a regular addition to meals

15. Raspberries
Eat little - Again similar to cranberries and melon as raspberries don't enter my diet much. More than the latter two but could do with getting a bunch of frozen ones and keeping them in the freezer.

16. Spinach
Eat lots - I'm a big green fan. I add spinach to a bunch of different meals.

17. Soy
Eat little - I'm working on this one! I've been wanting to experiment with Tofu for some time now, it's on the cooking agenda. And I also have Chocolate Soy Milk in the fridge currently. 

18. Tea
Eat/Drink little - I'm not a big one on hot drinks in general and when I do it's normally espresso coffee but do go through stages of drinking tea especially herbal ones!

19. Tomatoes
Eat lots - I don't really eat a lot of  fresh tomatoes as they're pretty expensive in NZ when they're out of season. But eat heaps of canned tomatoes and buy fresh when they're cheap.

20. Yoghurt
Eat lots - There was a phase there where I didn't eat any yoghurt at all. Correction: I'd eat spoonfuls of other peoples yoghurt. But this past year I've found it to be a really good snack food and also use it in smoothies.

So, all up -
Eat lots: 10
Eat some: 3
Eat little: 7

Definitely going to look into ways to increase my fish and soy intake. Hoping to increase berry/fruit intake by smoothies. Would be good to lower that eat little number and increase the other two. But all in all, I think that's a pretty even spread.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Is A Plant Empowered Diet For Me?

I've been reading a lot about nutrition, wellness, healthy living and all that jazz recently. I stayed up late the other night learning about Gerson Therapy by complete accident. It's well known to all my friends that I'm addicted to the internet (most, if not all, would say Facebook). While there's some truth to this Facebook addiction, I am also genuinely in love with the amount of information, inspiration and ideas that are out there online! Gerson Therapy seems to surround cutting out everything from your diet and having juices 6 times a day. It's not something I could ever manage as a Diabetic but it was interesting nonetheless.

Awhile back a friend of mine gave me the link to the trailer for the documentary Forks Over Knives. I'd heard about it before but hadn't looked into it. If you're not familiar with it, this blog gives a really good review. Good as in balanced :) Basically it's about how living a plant empowered diet is better for you. Just a warning for Diabetics, I felt just a slight kick in the gut, when I heard this line in the trailer:

"I have reversed the Diabetes. The Diabetes is not coming back."

Of course, comments like that in general make me not want to give any kind of credit to the documentary as I believe that the millions of preconceived notions and assumptions about Type 1 Diabetes stem from things like this. However, since I'm addicted to the internet and information I of course, looked into it. I really do believe in the power of plants. I think there's something to be said for eating organic, natural and unprocessed food. In a previous blog post I posted a photo showing the difference between free range and store bought eggs. If that's not enough evidence that eating organic/natural foods is good I don't know what is.

But what does that mean for me?
I'm not 100% sold on the idea of never eating meat again. I thought about living by myself last year and if I had I would probably have ended up making mostly vegetarian meals. However it ended up being cheaper to live with a group of friends. One of their comments was, I'm so glad you're not vegetarian. The idea is to do flat cooking and they obviously have a bit of bad will towards vegetarians! I don't but I can see how a vegetarian would make flat cooking a bit tricky. For me, I would just see it as a challenge to make sure I was including enough vegetables with my food! But each to their own. So it's looking like I'll be eating a bit of meat for flat dinners. This isn't something that bothers me but I'm going to make it a bit of a new years resolution to increase the amount of meat free/plant empowered breakfast and lunches that I have. At the end of the day, I don't need to be eating meat with every single meal. In an ideal world I would be eating a mostly plant empowered lifestyle with organic meat 2 to 3 times a week. For now, and for 2013 my focus will be on delicious plant empowered lunches and experimenting with my own flat meals. I found this year that a lot of my flatmates meals were often half carb, half meat. E.G Spaghetti Bolagnaise. So I'm going to ensure my meals have a heap of vegetables in them, and low GI carbs etc.

I love how Forks Over Knives calls it a plant empowered diet. I think it's much more politically friendly than just saying Vegan/Vegetarian. And I also love the idea that what I eat empowers me.

On a similar note, the friend who showed me the link for the trailer is also visiting me next week. I haven't seen her in over a year and I'm bouncing off the walls with excitement! She's a vegetarian and also a chef so I love seeing her ideas for meals. I also love her to pieces for everything else, not just her amazing cooking abilities.

I truly believe that Friends are the backbone to my own happiness and sanity  :)